October 18, 2007
Cross Cultural Psychology SOP 3723-0001
People wonder about some questions like how similarities and differences of people’s behaviors emotions, motivations, and thoughts across cultures? How examines psychological diversity links between cultural norms and behavior in which particular human activities are differently influenced or sometimes dissimilar social and cultural forces? Several decades ago, cross cultural psychology has basically answered those questions. By critical and comparison, psychologists discover not only about meaningful links between a culture and the psychology of individuals living in this culture; they also advocates the idea that mental process are essentially the products of an interaction between the culture and the individual as well (Pike, 1998). In this paper, we focus on the “cultural traditional influences” on human psychology through analyzing the book names Pocho. As a lively evidence to illustrate what knowledge that cross cultural psychologists devote to human and society in the twentieth century. Take a glance of what is cultural tradition. There are two types of cultural influences: Traditional culture and Non-traditional culture. The first one is a cultural construct rooted in traditions, rules, symbols, and principles established predominantly in the past. The other one which is often called modern is based on new principles, ideas, and practices. While the traditional tends to be conservative and intolerant to innovations, the non-cultural tradition tends to be absorbing and dynamic (Eric Shivaev & David Levy, 2007). Assimilation is a main subject in the Pocho and religion and gender are two other aspects that we focus on to see the problems. Jose Antonio Villareal, in his novel Pocho, pictured of assimilation as it applies to the experiences of Richard Rubio and his family. The Rubios are Mexicans attempting to start a new life in the United States, and the book records the difficulties they face. For the need to adapt to the new culture while holding onto as much of the old one, results in a new as much as coming-of-age does. The author presents the subject of assimilation realistically, without illusions about the degree to which the Mexican characters maintain their own tradition in the midst of the American culture. The Rubios is a family whose lives are shaped by the seasons and the crops. Not only do they work hard for little money or security, but also they must face the reality as strangers in a strange land. They are hard to maintain the Mexican tradition, especially in the winter months, when most Mexicans leave the area of Santa Clara, and then they return in summer to pick crops. Richard who is the younger generation is losing contact with Mexican culture, slowly but surely. He hears his father and the other men tell stories of Mexico, but “the tales of that strange country seemed a very far to him, and the stories also seemed of long, long ago.” However, the Rubios family and others keep their connection to the Mexican culture and its traditions through fiestas and songs and dances: “A small piece of Mexico was contained within the fences of the lot on which Juan Rubio kept his family” (43). Still, by the end of the book, when Richard goes off to war, the author leaves little doubt that Richard has been thoroughly assimilated. He may always maintain some sense of connection to Mexico, but he is far more an American at the end of the book than he was in the parts covering his childhood.
According to Eric, cultural dichotomies mean the differences of cultures which can conceptualize in four terms: high versus low-power distance, high versus low-uncertainty avoidance, masculinity versus femininity, etc. Power distance is the extent to which the members of a society accept that power in institutions and organizations is distributed unequally (Hofstede, 1980). This concept matches this circumstance of the Richard family in the book....
References: Eric Siraev & David Levy (2007). Cross-Cultural Psychology: Critical Thinking and Contemprorary Applications. 3rd. ed.
Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Pike, S. (1998). Contributions of Psychological Anthropology. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 29 (1), 9-32
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